Bipartisan Report Bolsters One of Trump’s Biggest Policy Initiatives, and Both Parties Come Together

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    A bipartisan report was released Wednesday, detailing policy prescriptions for a future infrastructure plan, according to The Hill.

    “Unfortunately, due to years of underinvestment and deferred maintenance, America is no longer keeping pace and continues to fall behind other countries,” the congressional Problem Solvers Caucus noted in its report. “By some estimates, the funding gap may be as high as $2 trillion by 2025 across all sectors of American infrastructure.”

    President Donald Trump has remained optimistic that a bipartisan plan to repair the nation's crumbling infrastructure could get done sometime in the new year. It may be difficult to get Democrats to work with the president in an election year, but White House aides still say that infrastructure will be the administration's primary focus in 2018.

    “I really believe infrastructure can be bipartisan,” Trump said from the Oval Office earlier in January, according to CNN. “People want it: Republicans and Democrats.”

    The report, released by the caucus' Infrastructure Working Group, provides proposals on how to modernize infrastructure while simultaneously protecting the environment and strengthening national security.

    “Among the suggestions in the report is creating 'a rural liaison' for various federal agencies to help those areas seek funding. It also suggests that projects financed by the federal government should take a 'Buy America' approach to make sure U.S. goods like steel and iron are used,” according to The Hill.

    “America was a great country because we did great and big things,” Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), a co-author of the report and a member of the House Transportation Committee, said about the release.

    Esty pointed to the recent water main break at John F. Kennedy International Airport that caused flooding, water damage and delayed flights.

    “That’s become all too often what we see in America right now,” she said. “It’s frustrating. It’s expensive. And we can fix it.”

    The report comes as Trump's infrastructure plans hit a roadblock, pushing back its timeline from January to February. But that doesn't mean Democrats will not be on board with an infrastructure bill.

    During one bipartisan meeting on infrastructure, Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York insisted on funding for Amtrak safety technology and a rail and tunnel project in the Northeast corridor.

    “Gillibrand tore into the administration, according to one source familiar with the incident, and claimed that White House officials are responsible for killing people if they don’t help fund the multibillion-dollar rail project,” according to The Hill.

    Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.